Dynamite on Clark Street

Photo Courtesy of Kittitas Police Department (Facebook)

Photo Courtesy of Kittitas Police Department (Facebook)

Libby Williams, Staff Reporter

Roses are red, violets are blue, and one Kittitas resident’s garden almost “blue” up. 

On May 13, Kittitas Officer Brian DeFrang received an email from Chief Chris Taylor about a mason jar of explosives dug up by a Kittitas resident.

“He filled me in on an unstable situation,” DeFrang said. “We didn’t really know a whole lot about the situation, I knew the bomb squad was coming out and we just had to wait for them to get there … I stuck around for street security and was around to help out however I could, but it’s really the bomb squad’s show, they’re professionals and know how to handle the situation.”

Photo Courtesy of Kittitas Police Department (Facebook)

The Washington State Patrol showed up on site. DeFrang said they’re specially trained for situations like this..

“They had to go in and evaluate it, it turned out to be a pretty unstable 80- to 100-year-old stick of dynamite in a mason jar that had been dug up,” DeFrang said. 

Law enforcement closed the street for a few hours while the squad defused the situation, though no one needed to be evacuated from their homes.

‘What they ended up doing was soaking it on site in diesel for about an hour,” said DeFrang. “We had to block off one street, Clark Street, for about a block.”

After the dynamite soaked inside some protective containers in the squad’s truck, they brought it to Palmero Park and burned it in an open area. 

Sergeant Nelson from the Kittitas Police Department said the department is lucky to have a team like the Washington State Patrol bomb squad.

Photo Courtesy of Kittitas Police Department (Facebook)

“There’s really no agency in this county that’s big enough to handle everything, so working together really made that shine for us,” Nelson said. “We couldn’t handle that phone call on our own, so having that available to us was great.”

DeFrang said this kind of thing occurs frequently enough for the bomb squad to be specially trained for it, and there is definitely a right way to react if old explosives are found.

“It happens around the state, I don’t know that it’s ever happened in Kittitas before, but it happens,” DeFrang said. “For people, if they do find old explosives, the most important thing to do is just not to handle it. Call the police department. The police department will call the bomb professionals. It’s just important to not handle it as much as possible.”

The dynamite was successfully and safely disposed of, and no one was injured.

“An unstable situation turned out to be a pretty good day,” DeFrang said.